Room With A View
While the party wrestle with the conundrum of timing their attacks to match the strange shimmering in-and-outness of the displacer beasts, Makaria manages to tend Analastra
and bring her back to consciousness, only for the another of the seemingly endless flight of stirges emerging from the Bell Tower to strike her down again.
Finally, a few well timed attacks from the team get the situation under control and the creatures fall, while the stirges fly off to find another, less prickly source of nourishment.
Returning to the Eladrin camp Berrian Velfarrian tries to hide his relief at the return of his sister under a cloak of annoyance, but his earlier suspicion of the party’s motives are somewhat ameliorated.
Taking the heroes into his trust he reveals the truth behind the Eladrin presence in Gardmore – a century long quest for their missing father – a journey that has brought them from the Feywild and across the known world, with all clues ending here.
Their journey has become more purposeful now, however, with the discovery of this ancient grove that bears the mark of their kin. Now they are resolved to claim this woodland as their own, to continue to tend it and protect it from the ravages of the mundane world. To add weight to their claim Berrian is keen to find further evidence of the history of this place and to discover any evidence of the original Eladrin stewards.
At this point several of the party realise that the emblem on the shields of the Eladrin match that of one of the strange zombie-like wretches that fought alongside the Beholder in the tower, but say nothing of it.
After resting, the party is keen to move on and complete their own mission of mapping the Orc strength while Sir Oakey wishes to investigate the temple and perform the cleansing ritual on the place.
With Berrian’s gratitude still working in their favour the Eladrin reveals the path through the grove that takes the party unseen to to the ruined abbey at the top of the hill. From here the party can easily see the extent of the threat: at least 150 orcs and other humanoids, including ogres and dire wolves, all camped out among the village ruins. A decent map drawn up, it is time to investigate the great temple.
Although in poor shape, it is obvious this was once a great place of worship to Bahamut; statues of the God of Justice and his allies adorn the central aisle leading to the remains of the altar. But while Sir Oakey begins to roam around making strange chanting noises, there is little time for the party to explore as they become involved in a surreal conversation with a couple of insane harpies – a somewhat one-sided and indecipherable affair that soon leads to combat, as the mad shrieks of these winged terrors pinion many of our brave warriors to the cracked stone floor as a threesome of implacably silent and warped representations of angels move in for the kill.